By Jide Alaka
The Super Eagles have to dig deep today as they will be Yusuf Ayila for the friendly match against Korea Republic. The Russia based player called in to inform team handlers of an injury he sustained in a league match at the weekend.
“He (Ayila) will not be available for the match. But our team doctor is speaking with the Dynamo Kiev doctor to determine what the real situation is,” Robinson Okosun, acting media officer of the NFF said.
Okosun also said coach Augustine Eguavoen has other players to fill the void.
“The coach has said he is not particularly worried as he is covered in that department and will not be calling up any other player.”
Ayila’s absence has increased further the number of missing Eagles. Others staying away include goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, Chinedu Obasi, Mikel Obi and Obinna Nsofor. The players have advanced different reasons ranging from club commitments to injury for staying away.
Obafemi Martins who was expected to join his team mates yesterday finally did so in the evening after making his debut for his new club Rubin Kazan in their 2-1 win over Tom Tomsk in the Russian League on Saturday.
But Eguavoen is optimistic of a good outing and that much was revealed in an interview with the BBC. The caretaker coach is happy with the composition of the squad and hopes that the new players will afford themselves the opportunity to shine.
“I’m happy we have other players here who can use this platform to prove themselves. We have to make do with what we have; we will be parading a mix of experience and youth in Korea.
“It is a big chance for the local stars to shine and the foreign ones to atone for the World Cup disappointments.”
The need for the match
Former international Garba Lawal is of the view that though the match is a friendly, the players should take it seriously.
“Every match is important for a footballer but ideally, I would say it is opportunity for the players to get to play together and know each other,” he said.
With so many absentees, Lawal does not foresee a good match: “The available boys can only plan to do their best but if there is no coordination between the boys, no matter the strategy, they may not be able deliver. As a Nigerian, I hope they win but it is not a confident hope,” said Lawal who hopes young players will be called more often.
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